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    • #38081

      I am worrying myself silly about what happens after you get there. I am virtually at the point of leaving but can’t just yet for various reasons.

      I understand the location will not be disclosed and he will not be able to find out where we are but the thing that confuses me is because he has equal parental rights as me, how does it reach the point where we finally have to agree what contact he has with the children? How do we get there if he doesn’t know where we are, the information won’t be disclosed to him if he tries to find out? How long can that go on for?

      Totally confused and if anyone can help I’d be very grateful.

    • #38089

      I didn’t go into refuge, but I do know you will have a support worker to help you with all the aspects you will need to sort out. By going into refuge you are letting go of contact all together, for you and your children, meaning the appropriate services will need to communicate on your behalf from then on – and like wise for him too. Think you need to give the WA helpline a call, each case is different and depends on the level of risk to the child / children. I’m sure they would be the best to help you with this. Try to focus on getting out – everything else can be sorted out afterwards. Hope you get out soon.

    • #38109
      Main Moderator

      Hi Lemonnaise

      To speak to a helpline worker about what to expect from refuge you can contact The National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247. Alternatively there is some useful information and FAQ’s about refuge in ‘The Survivors Handbook’ which you can find at the very bottom of the main Women’s Aid website.

      Take care and keep posting


      • #39186

        Hi Lisa

        I have packed/unpacked and packed again today as I want to leave for refuge but refuge outside my city. Can I request that obviously with space available

      • #39195
        Main Moderator

        Dear Englishgirl,

        I have posted on your other posts but yes, please phone the helpline. They will help you to safety plan and can answer all your questions. Once you are in a refuge you are still classed as being ‘involuntarily homeless’ and you will be classed as in priority need of permanent accommodation. The refuge will offer you lots of practical and emotional help to empower you to to a happier future. If you have children there will often be children’s workers and counselling available and the refuge will ensure they are in schools quickly if they are of school age.

        Please stay safe and don’t let him know what you are planning.

        Best wishes,

        Forum Moderator

    • #38157

      Thank you for your replies. We’ll be leaving very soon so focused on that and I will cross each bridge as it comes from now on. I’ll be back once we’re safely there.

    • #38288

      In a refuge you have a social worker. You should actually get an IDVA. They will help with letters and he will never find out.
      You can also arrange for a post box where your letters go once you have settled in and are able to organise your life.

      At the moment make it your priority to get out. Stay safe!

    • #45447

      I was in refuge quite some time ago, and it was the best thing I ever did. Refuges are all different. Some have en-suite facilities and some have shared. There will usually be a communal lounge and kitchen. The staff in my refuge were lovely. You will be allocated a key worker who will meet with you weekly,and organise for you to go on the waiting list for housing. However you will see the staff daily. My refuge organised for me to join a support project and undergo the Recovery Toolkit course. All the residents were fast tracked for specialist DV counselling, which I found very helpful. My ex partner had made me very isolated so it was great to have other people to talk to. Refuge wasn’t all plain sailing and in mine there were ups and downs because every woman who comes to refuge has her own issues. However I came on in leaps and bounds once I came to refuge and quickly made friends. By the time I was ready to leave, I was positive, confident and in a completely different place compared to the depressed wreck I was when I arrived. Everyone’s experience of refuge is different, but for me it was the best thing I ever did. I hope this helps and wishing you the best of luck. Keep safe! Xx

    • #45459

      Thanks Copperflame, it’s great to hear your positive story and I’m glad you received such great support.
      I am receiving some support, along the lines of what you’ve described, but much less due to funding cuts in refuges, and therefore they just don’t have the staff to provide the support that is needed. I’ve received no counseling at all, which is insane. I’m on a waiting list, but there is none available on site and it is so, so important. I’ve never discussed what brought me here in the first place with anyone ever at the refuge! Practical support is OK, but emotional support is severely lacking.
      Despite this though, even though I’m still struggling with a lot of things (housing/solicitors/communication with ex/child contact), leaving and moving far away from him and my old life is the BEST thing I’ve ever done and I am hopeful things will improve and I hope I flourish even more like you did in time.

      Thanks for sharing your experience with me.

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